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Nev House – Cyclone-Rated Affordable Homes

Ken McBryde + Nev Hyman, An Australian duo has created a series of cyclone-resistant prefabricated shelters named Nev House. This is a low cost rapid deployment solution that has the potential to significantly impact economic, social and environmental issues in any country. A home made from recycled materials that goes up in just a few days.

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© Nev House

Nev House delivers shelter, light, heat, clean water and sanitation to those who need it the most. These places of sanctuary are built from recycled materials, go up in just 5 days and are functional either on or off the power grid. The low cost and rapidly deployable nature of the Nev House solution means nations devastated by war or disaster can be re-built quickly, efficiently and effectively.

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© Nev House

Respected Australian surfboard designer Nev Hyman and architect Ken McBryde, of leading design house Hassell, have collaborated to create a series of cyclone-resistant shelters for remote Vanuatu communities decimated by Cyclone Pam in March 2015. The shelters, which were based around an initial prototype called Nev House, utilise recycled plastic and laminated veneer lumber to realise their distinctive design featuring high-pitched roofs, large overhangs and floor-to-ceiling louvres for maximum ventilation in tropical environments. The buildings take only five days to construct and are designed to withstand a category-five cyclone.

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© Nev House

“Four years ago I met Nev Hyman, founder of Firewire Surfboards. Reflecting these challenges, Nev Hyman had a simple idea: turn that waste into housing. And, while we’re at it, we’ll create local micro-industries and jobs by providing containerised recycling plants. So we make housing, create jobs and clean up the oceans! That’s triple bottom line sustainability: social + economic + environmental. A win-win-win!” – Ken McBryde

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© Nev House


Nev House Pty Ltd (here after referred to as ‘Nevhouse’ or the ‘Company’) is an organization that supplies pre-fabricated homes and other community structures such as homes, schools, and medical centres fromrecycled plastic and other composite materials. The Company sells its product at a low cost to Foundations, Charities, Institutions such as Pension funds, Government and non-Governmental organizations with the end user being people who live in slums, remote area’s or nothing at all. The product is manufactured in itia lly in factories from China and Australia and then sold in a flat packed format for easy transportation, fast roll out and assembly.

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© Nev House

History and Experience:

In 2008 Nev Hyman made a decision to move beyond his highly successful surfboard manufacturing businesses into innovative ways to use waste plast ic for wor ld good. He incorporated Nev Future Shapes Pty Ltd, an Australian private limited company in which he held 100%shares.

5 years and US$3m of expenditure on research and development by Nev and his team of professionals followed. The team includes architects, polymer scientists, engineers and government organizations; all with the highest credentials.

As a result of this research and development Nev became convinced that a house made from recycled plastic and other composite materials could be manufactured to meet the most stringent of internationa l standards, that it could be mass produced for rapid deployment, and that mater ial costs and supply were adequate to achieve the desired price point.

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© Nev House


The product range currently inc ludes homes, schools and medical clinics. The house is made predominantly from recycled materials which allows it to compete in a unique and differentiated space in the low cost housing market. Each structure comes with solutions for power, clean water and sanitation and it can operate either on or off the power grid.

The structures are priced at the low cost end of the market to encourage volume buying from Governments, Non Government Organizations, Institutions as well as Charities and Foundations. The design is tailored to meet the cultural, spiritual, climatic and social nuances of each country it is sold in.

Other products such as board walks, fences, pallets and bridges have already been made from recycled plastic and other composites, so the technology used by Nev house is not new, but Nevhouse is the first to apply this technology to community infrastructure. Nev House owns the Intellectual Property of this product range and the designs and engineering associated with it.

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© Nev House

Nev House:

Nevhouse is an Australian company that has designed cyclone-rated affordable homes, schools and medical clinics made from recycled plastic and other waste products. Each structure is architect designed and able to withstand a Category 5 cyclone and operates on solar power and is assembled from kits in only a few days.

The end-to-end user experience has been co-designed with people who live in these communities. Social research is conducted in order to understand the geographic, climatic, lifestyle, cultural, health and economic circumstances of the end user. Our lead architect – Ken McBryde (Principal HASSELL) – internationally recognised architect with extensive experience in indigenous architecture.

Nev House adopts a grass roots approach to ensure that the needs of individuals and communities are met. This means developing tailor made solutions based on careful research and assessment.

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© Nev House

1. Research & Assessment:

The United Nations estimates that there are at least 1.3 billion people worldwide who have inadequate shelter. What’s worse, most of these people suffer from poor sanitation and many do not have access to electricity or clean drinking water. We believe that there is no one-size-fits-all solution which is why we choose to undertake careful studies in every community that we build.

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© Nev House

2. Tailor Made Solutions:

Our pre-fabricated homes, school class rooms, medical clinics and other community structures are tailor made to meet the geographic, climatic, lifestyle and spiritual needs of those who use them. Our lead architects and engineers work with local architects and engineers to create places of sanctuary for indigenous people.

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© Nev House

3. Acceptance & Participation:

Our grass roots approach means securing local acceptance from government to landowners to clan leaders to the men, women and children whose lives will be impacted, and then securing their participation in the building of their community. Our approach means that entire communities can be built quickly and effectively and in a sustainable fashion.

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© Nev House

4. Rapid Deployment:

Our homes, schools and medical clinics are modular in format and tailored to the climatic, spiritual and lifestyle nuances of each market. Each can be constructed on site in just 5 days and works either on or off the power grid. This means that entire communities can be rebuilt quickly, restoring hope and dignity for those who are in desperate need – without delay.

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© Nev House

5. Social Assessment:

The large scale rapid roll out of the Nev House solution has a positive impact on housing, education, and health. Our impact in each of these areas is measured by independent assessors and the results made available to the government and NGO’s we work with. In countries requiring large scale ‘multi-year’ developments we undertake to build local factories which can make a positive impact on employment, skill development as well as potential GDP growth through exports to neighbouring countries.

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© Nev House

Project Data:

Project name: Nev House
Location: n/a
Coordinates: n/a

  • Type By Characteristic: Green & Sustainable House, Prefab House, Low Cost House
  • Type By Site: n/a
  • Type By Size: Small House – (51 sqm – 200 sqm)
  • Type By Materials: Composite Materials House

Project Area: approx 51 sqm – 200 sqm sqm
Design Year: 2012
Completion Date/Year: 2015
Visit Nev House’s website: here


  • 2016 – Australian Good Design Award – Award for Sustainability – Category: Architectural Design > Commercial and Residential Architecture – Winner

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Nev Hyman, Nevhouse Pty Ltd – 15/123 Eagle Street, Brisbane, Australia
Architects: Ken McBryde – Sydney, Australia
Project Team: Ken McBryde, Kacey Bridge, Interior Life and Dindas
Text Description: © Courtesy of Nev House, Australian Good Design Award
Images: © Nev House

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Nev House / Ken McBryde + Nev Hyman
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